Philips screams for speech recognition

Philips screams for speech recognition

Philips Speech Processing (PSP), a global division and business unit of the electronics giant Philips Electronics Australia, has launched the latest iteration of its retail voice recognition offering.

From this week, Philips FreeSpeech 2000 will be available through Harvey Norman stores nationally, and it marks what Philips hopes will be the start of a major retail push of its speech technology.

According to Frank van der Woude, general manager of PSP in Australia, it's not simply an upgrade of the FreeSpeech 98 bundle. "It's 30 per cent better technology," he claimed.

In an impressive demonstration of the combination hardware and software, Philips showed that the potential for voice-based editing, Web surfing and computer control is well within reach of the home and small business PC user.

Configurable in 13 languages (including Australian English that improves with as little as 15 minutes training), it is designed to interface with Windows applications including Microsoft Office and Corel's WordPerfect.

Bundled with a regular headset and microphone, it is priced at $249. Alternatively, with the Philips SpeechMike, which incorporates a trackball, mike and speaker, it is $349 RRP.

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